The Syracuse Chiefs (25-33), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, got another quality start from their pitching staff and held off the Louisville Bats (36-26) for a 4-3 win Thursday at Alliance Bank Stadium. Lefthander Ross Detwiler (5-5) twirled six and one-third innings, allowing just four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out four to earn his fifth win of the year.
Detwiler did not allow a baserunner through the first three innings and got some run support early. Matt Antonelli sent a home run over the leftfield wall in the first inning to put Syracuse up 1-0. Michael Aubrey matched that blast with a solo homer of his own in the fourth to double the Chiefs' lead.
Bats' leftfielder Yonder Alonso bested Detwiler with a long home run to start the fifth inning, but Syracuse answered in the bottom of the frame. Three straight one-out singles by Detwiler, Gregor Blanco and Antonelli loaded the bases for Aubrey. The leftfielder then ripped a line drive to right that was caught but scored Detwiler. Blanco advanced to third base and scored one batter later on a Chris Marrero single to put the Chiefs up 4-1.
Louisville cut the lead to two in the sixth. Zack Cozart blooped a pinch hit single to start the inning followed by a single from Kristopher Negron. The Bats executed a double steal to put the runners on second and third before Chris Valaika's RBI groundout put the score at 4-2.
Detwiler finished up his start with a strikeout of Danny Dorn in the seventh before Collin Balester took over at the mound. The righty reliever dished out three strikeouts and retired five straight batters to get to the ninth.
Josh Wilkie nearly blew the save opportunity but managed to salvage the game for Syracuse. With Alonso on first after a one-out single, Brent Clevlen laced a line drive to centerfield. Corey Brown laid out trying to make the catch but the ball fell just out of his reach. Alonso came around to score and Clevlen stopped at third for an RBI triple to pull Louisville within 4-3.
But Wilkie rose to the challenge from there. He forced two straight flyouts to leftfield to secure the Chiefs' win.
Syracuse will complete their four game series with Louisville Friday at 7pm in Alliance Bank Stadium. Brad Meyers will take the mound for the Chiefs against Bats' righty Scott Carroll.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.